BETTS Charles William

Known information

Private Charles William Betts was the only son of Charles Robert Betts and Sarah of Belton and was born in the village on 12 July 1888. Before enlisting on 20 October 1916, he was a postman at Dalwhinnie, Invernesshire. He had been rejected for military service three times before finally being accepted for garrison duty abroad, and subsequently passed for general service. He was in the 7th Battalion Cameron Highlanders, and went out to the Western Front on the 29 June 1917. Charles was reported missing on 31 July almost exactly a month later, on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). His battalion was due to support an attack on German positions near the Ypres-Roulers (Roeselare) railway line. On the evening of 30 July, "A" Company occupied Thatch Barn dump with carrying parties. But this was blown up by the Germans "causing considerable casualties," according to the battalion war diary. Of the carrying parties that survived, the diary records: "Full loads could not be carried owing to muddy nature of the ground and heavy shell fire." The rest of the battalion moved forward at 10am and occupied trenches captured in the morning's assault by a battalion of the Black Watch. It is not clear when or how Charles died. He has no known grave and so is remembered on the Menin Gate, Panel 38, and on the war memorial in Belton. 

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  • Belton church
  • Belton Memorial
  • Belton Memorial 1
  • Menin Gate
  • Panel 38 Cameron Highlanders
  • C W Betts

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Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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